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Re: Embedded Debian (was: compaq iPaq)

I'm not certain that trying to cram OS config into a kernel config tool is
the right idea, but I do agree that the concept is effective.

What about a more generalized framework for this sort of thing to build a
disk image for a highly customized embedded Debian system?  Take a
subdirectory and put a config file in it which contains several pertinent
bits of information like the size of the disk the embedded system will
use, partitions and partition tables (if any), etc..  The config file
would point the partitions at directories which will hopefull be named by
their labels or something useful (again I recommend against hardcoding
this stuff because none of it matters on a small flash chip for example..)

A dpkg which stores its database outside these partitions would be nice,
as would something which does black magic similar to fakeroot and chroot
by doing sneaky things with the filesystem (possibly internal to this
modified dpkg?)  The end result should be that "dpkg" is able to install
and remove packages from this subdirectory tree and maintain everything
seemingly intact.  You're just able to move entire files and directories
literally out of the directory/ies which will be used to make a disk image
and still have them be there as far as dpkg is concerned (and in fact,
they are, they're just in a different directory that won't be included
when the image is built..)

The obvious disadvantage of all of this is that it is black voodoo and
someone has to write it.  Writing it won't be easy.  The advantage is that
you have a very simple path to look at what exactly will and will not be
on the image while still having access to all of the files that will not
be on that image.  You can add and remove files to either the tree that
doesn't actually get installed but is virtually there for development or
the tree that is actually going to get built as an image.  Using a
chroot-type program you can actually start up a shell in the filesystem as
it would be mounted regardless of partition layouts so you can see the
whole picture...

May not be worth the development time and effort, but it SOUNDS like one
hell of a cool hack to me (at least at 2am..)

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>               GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/)         20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/)   44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3

Basically, I want people to know that when they use binary-only modules,
it's THEIR problem.  I want people to know that in their bones, and I
want it shouted out from the rooftops.  I want people to wake up in a
cold sweat every once in a while if they use binary-only modules.
        -- Linus Torvalds

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